Edward Kim, Cast Away

As the starmaker-in-residence of House Casting agency, Edward Kim is surrounded by legions of long-legged, genetically blessed beauties day and night. And that’s exactly how this casting director has always wanted it. Born in Korea but raised in Pittsburgh, Kim got his start interning at a model agency during college, which in turn led to freelance work for an NYC casting agency, and a full-time job at House two years ago. These days he’s become a secret weapon come fashion week, casting for some of the city’s more exciting young lines, including Suno, Patrik Ervell, Timo Weiland and Loden Dager for Spring 2012. We snagged Kim for a phone date a few days before the official Made Fashion Week kickoff.

Milk Made: What am I catching you in the middle of right now?

Edward Kim: I’m in the middle of scheduling all the go-sees and pre-casting.

What is pre-casting?

I see the models here at the office to determine whether they are appropriate for my clients.

I see, an early filter. It’s early days, but do you think there’s a certain look that has emerged this season?

There are a couple of things coming. We’re coming off a few seasons where sexy bodies were the new look, which came after several seasons of that super skinny/alien look. Now, we’re swinging between the two.

It sounds more equal-opportunity.

There’s definitely more variety.

If there are more “looks” to parse, does that make your job more fun interesting?

If there’s a wider range of models, then as a casting director your hand is more evident. It’s because you’re choosing the direction for each season and making that come to life, so it is more fun.

Is there some back and forth with the designer for casting?

There’s definitely a dialogue with the designers. Also, to have them in-person at some of the castings is important. In the moment, you can hash out who is appropriate and why.

You work with quite a few buzzy, younger designers. Does working with young talents allow you to take more risks?

Yes, I would say so. It’s exciting because they have the liberty to try things and go in different directions because they’re not locked into a singular point of view quite yet. So you find there’s more range you can add to the runway.

Who are the girls to watch this season?

It’s hard to peg that down, but I think Antonia (Ford), Cora (Next), Morgane (Silent), Estee (VNY) and Sojourner (Wilhelmina) will do well this season. They have different looks though, so their success will be in different ways.

And with only a few more days to go, how are you doing dealing with fashion week stress?

Actually, last night I felt a tickle in the back of my throat, so right now I’m on a strict regimen of juices and vitamins.

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